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Remembering Jim Franklin, Geoscience Godfather

Members of the Harquail School of Earth Sciences (HSES) are remembering Dr. James (Jim) Franklin, one of Canada’s premier economic geologists and a past Adjunct Professor at Laurentian University. 

Dr. Franklin passed away on June 19, 2024, at 81. He was recognized globally as one of Canada’s best geoscientists and a godfather of volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) research in Canada. 

Jim was the first Economic Geology Professor at Lakehead University. He later joined the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), where he became Chief Scientist and pioneered a marine minerals program. After retiring from the GSC in the late ‘90s, he led Franklin Geosciences Ltd., a successful global consultancy. Throughout his career, he supported many professional, academic, and industry associations and causes and was a significant contributor to the scientific community and the mineral exploration industry. In 2019, he was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.

The Harquail School of Earth Sciences is deeply grateful for Dr. Franklin's legacy as a mentor. He guided many young professors, industry geologists, and graduate students. Since the early 1990s, Jim was an adjunct professor at Laurentian University’s Harquail School of Earth Sciences, where he co-supervised MSc and PhD students. 

His wonderful humour, often directed toward himself, was a source of warmth and fondness for all who knew him, especially our students. Jim was a vocal and effective advocate for field-based research, HSES, and its Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC). His sage advice in crafting the Metal Earth research proposal helped to win this incredible grant, which became the largest university-led mineral exploration research program worldwide. 

Jim’s legacy will live on through his significant scientific contributions and the many geoscientists he mentored throughout his distinguished career. He will be missed. 

Read more about Jim’s life in his obituary, posted here.

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